About innovations! But this time – social innovations! 



Krakow Technology Park, in collaboration with the Life Science Krakow Cluster, has created a unique event that served as a platform for collaboration among students, seniors, business professionals, administrators, and academic individuals. Using scientific terminology, it brought together actors in what is known as the quadruple helix. The AHAthon and the LifeScience Open Space conference, mentioned here, took place at the KPT headquarters from November 29th  to December 1st. On Friday, the winners of the two-day event were announced. Excellent ideas, outstanding presentations, and excellent collaboration impressed the jury. 

AHAthon – a hackathon without programming?! 

Krakow Technology Park, traditionally associated with technological innovations, has ventured into a new area – social innovations.  

We are pleased that Krakow Technology Park has once again become a connector and animator of collaboration among very different environments, in an extremely unique field of social innovations. Certainly, it is not an easy task for us, but we believe it is a good direction.” says Natalia Bursiewicz, Vice President of the Board of Krakow Technology Park.  

Drawing on the experience of organizing many hackathons, events for creators, or programmers, the concept was successfully combined with the opportunity to work on social innovations. AHA, the main change in the traditional understanding of a hackathon, is an acronym for “Active Healthy Ageing.” During the two days of work, teams consisting of both young and senior individuals worked on social innovations to address real problems. Most participants focused on communication issues, whether related to accessing information (cultural, sports, local) or transportation restrictions. One team emphasized the need for the practice of gratitude, which influences the increase in well-being. 

“All presentations were of a very high standard and captivated us with their level and ideas. Therefore, we chose one group as the winner, and the rest of the teams received equal prizes.” comments Monika Machowska, a jury member from KPT and vice director of technology park department in KPT. 

Thanks to the commitment to the international project and well-established partnerships within the INTEGER project, such interesting things could happen. The second partner on the Polish side is the Center for Evaluation and Analysis of Public Policy at the Jagiellonian University. 

Healthy habits conference  

The AHAthon also became a part of a larger event organized in the capital of Małopolska for several years, namely the Life Science Open Space. In the Lifestyle session, hosted by the Krakow Technology Park, we could hear many inspiring presentations, ranging from growing plants in specially adapted home cabinets to issues faced by shift workers and the challenges of venereal diseases. During the panel “The Power of Habit as the Best Prescription for a Healthy Life,” participants learned about the stories of sports and medical professionals and their approach to building a healthy and happy life. The wide range of presentations and lectures only demonstrates how the integration of various areas of activity and different environments has become crucial for our lifestyle. 

“We are aware that health is a paramount value that determines not only the length but above all the quality of our lives. Healthy habits play a crucial role in this regard. When repeated regularly over an extended period, they have a tangible impact on well-being, social connections, and also work. Therefore, the significant participation of KPT employees in the event is gratifying. Through education, raising awareness of challenges and issues, as well as showcasing good practices and innovative solutions related to a health-conscious lifestyle, the company places the employee and their needs at the center of attention.  

Health is not just the absence of disease; it is primarily psychological, physical, and social well-being. Hence, during the event, we addressed issues such as physical activity, prevention, healthy eating, sleep, relaxation, as well as new technologies or applications helpful in building healthy habits.” – Natalia Bursiewicz 

This three-day event, gathering over 200 participants, once again demonstrated the significance of collaboration, not only in organizing events but also in creating a platform or meeting place for people for whom meeting under normal circumstances is often impossible. Thanks to the conference and AHAthon, the Krakow Technology Park, in collaboration with the LifeScience Krakow Cluster Foundation, proved that such a concept makes sense. 

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